I’ve had a bit of a break, working on musical things in the mornings. Reading Matthew 6, what balm for the soul though.
Chapter five emphasised how antithetical God’s beautiful kingdom is to the ones we live in.
It threw us on God’s grace, requiring one sacrifice on our part, pride. Possible loss of a hand or an eye as collateral damage.
Bringing down the wall of pride facing God lets his goodness flow.
It flows from God to us and through us. We don’t prove our goodness to him. Jesus’ first point was that we can’t.
The examples in this chapter show how reversing flow of goodness changes everything. The way we live every day that flows from being humble recipients of God’s grace.
We give in situations of need because of the need, not to show we are good.
We pray to acknowledge and understand God, not show God or anyone else how devoted we are.
We forgive others not out of big heartenedness to them, but because of God’s to us.
Did you ever hear the joke “the first rule of vegan club is tell everyone about vegan club”. Self control and self discipline are part of the Christian life, but they are not a show for others, they are between God and us.
Then the things that light up our soul. Jesus describes our eyes as lamps for the body, which seems very apt in the modern era of illuminated screens for everything… Those gleaming images from Amazon, eBay, Instagram shining into our minds. All the things we could have, creating desire.
Contrast treasure in heaven. It’s fleshing out the “as above, so below” guidance from the Lord’s prayer directly above the passage. Doing God’s will on earth makes an eternal difference. Buying more stuff does not, of itself.
Then the wonderful message about not worrying. God feeds the birds of the air and dresses the flowers more beautifully than the most elite fashion house.
It’s an overwhelming argument, it’s irresistible. Let God love you. Be a channel of his love.
But it’s also a battle to establish habits we’ll fight for the rest of our lives.
It’s been quite a spiritual time. Some setbacks at church, lots of deep theology at work, a funeral this week for a much loved and kindly father, the approach of the end of another year.
This chapter is about being alive to the spiritual significance of things. So many of the themes of the scriptures land here, it’s like getting to the chorus hook of a song that has had many verses.
Do not worry about tomorrow, every day has enough trouble of is own. Is that comforting or not? Jesus’ deceptively simple, endlessly reverberant sayings.